Diamonds, big or small, they are a symbolic part of the engagement ring. Diamonds are made through extreme temperature and extreme pressure. The earth takes carbon, applies extreme temperature and pressure, to create a stone which is pure and eternal. A diamond ring is given as a promise and a commitment that even through the most intense pressure and life’s challenges, the pure love that you two share will last forever. And so it is said that ‘Diamonds are Forever’.
But diamonds come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. Have you ever wondered which style most represents you?
Well, the awesome people at Invaluable.com (a premier source for all things auctioned), have given us some amazing resources to help us figure out what rock best suites you!
Take the following quiz to figure out what kind of diamond works best for you!!!
For more info on the different diamond shapes that are on your favorite engagement rings, go to Invaluable’s website to learn more!!!
Have a very Happy Valentine’s Day!!!
Are you planning for a winter wedding? You can’t go wrong with the following 3 timeless design themes. We’ve come up with some great inspiration to inspire your wedding day!
Nothing is more classic than greens and cremes at the holidays!It is naturally inspired, and classically driven! For fashion, Style an ivory bridal gown with a classic black tie worthy Tux or Suit like the ones found at The Black Tux. Have your ladies where olive gowns with ivory bouquets to tie it all together! Pair these fashion ideas with lots of warm candles, creme colored linens, and dark green accents. If you are just dying to add some sparkle, go with a Champagne glitter color. Stay away from the yellow or rose gold colors, as that will quickly take away from the warmth and rich vibe you’ve got going with the olive and creme!
Want to spruce up your sweetheart table setting? Add some olive green glassware, like these found at Target’s Hearth and Hand (Magnolia) Collection from Joanna Gaines (oh how I love her style!)
Instead of small votives, don’t be afraid to go a little bigger on your candles. No need to hide them away in lanterns, since this is all about a clean, natural look. Try these plain glass church candles- pour your own, or find them at the dollar store!
This color scheme feels a bit more modern, but is still a good look now and forever. Even though it still feels warm and inviting (key winter wedding traits), it will pair nicely with a modern venue, if that’s what you’ve decided upon! The warm tones of the wine colors and the coolness of the navy blue brings sophistication and class, while adding a layer of contrast to the mix which is always a bolder/youthful move. Whether its an all glass/sharp angled venue like the new Central Library in Downtown San Diego, or a clean lines and reclaimed wood backdrops like at Booze Brothers Brewery in Vista, this is going to be a beautiful design theme with a wintery feel!
Fashion: Have your groom dress in a simple fitted blue suit, or instantly take him to the next level with this fly blue tuxedo rental. Have your ladies lead you in with these beautiful wine inspired bridesmaids dresses from Blush Fashion Boutique!
If your venue doesn’t already have a lot of wood on the walls and such, bring in some wood elements with Farm Tables either as all your guest tables, or just for a dramatic long head table.
If you’re set on having linens on your tables, go for a dark navy blue, with Marsala or Creme colored napkins folded flat under a wood charger.
Add in modern (dark) wood elements with calligraphy wooden signage on iron easels.
Pantone has spoken. Ultra Violet is 2018’s color of the year, so there’s sure to be a lot of purple items on sale this upcoming year! Take advantage. Even though people may not associate Purple hues with the winter season, it is surely always a crowd favorite and a timeless look. Pair plum and violet with a light blush pink and neutrals of grey and black, and you have a well balanced design plan, that can’t go wrong! For winter weddings, the richest color in your pallet should be the most visible. Letting all the other colors act as supporting roles and neutrals that will help that deep color shine. In this pallet, let that plum color soar by dressing your wedding party, tables, and florals in the most royal color of them all!
Bump this theme to the next level, by splurging a little on some Marble Top tables from To Be Designed San Diego. Check out photos on their Instagram here: TBD San Diego Marble Tables
Or if table cloths are more your style, go for a deep plum purple linen with grey napkins!
Don’t hold your florist back. Ask for purple hues of all shades in an ombre style arrangement.
Winter is coming ladies and gentleman! Let me know your thoughts and other winter color inspiration by commenting below or on our Instagram posts!
And if you or your groom are looking for a suit or tux that would be perfect for the wedding day, send them to TheBlackTux.com/VIP, and enter my business name Simply Elegant Weddings to be set up with a personal concierge to take them and their groomsmen through the entire process! It’s brilliant!
Why does a wedding cost so much?
I get asked this question ALL THE TIME! Mostly from family members, parents, and friends of a newly wedded couple who spent a small (sometimes large) fortune on the wedding of their dreams. Most engaged couples have already done their research before they get around to booking a planner, so I don’t hear it much from them. Until they are asked to sign contracts and put down huge down payments, then it becomes real. And rightfully so!
In 2015, the average cost of a wedding in California was around $32,500 (based on The Wedding Report, Inc.). That’s as much as a down payment on a starter home!
Let’s look at real life equivalents for a sec. If you walked into a crowded restaurant of 100-200 individuals, and shouted at the top of your lungs, “hey everyone, drinks and food are on us! Have the kind of night you’ll remember forever!” first, I hope that I am sitting at one of those tables. But for real, you’re not going home with a just couple hundred out of your account. More like $10,000 or even more, depending on how much they drink, and how good the food is! But wait, you don’t want to get married in a crowded restaurant full of strangers, you want a party! So you want to add that party atmosphere by setting up your own decor, in your own style. Basically creating the dining room of your dreams. Whether that be in a hotel ballroom, or a private estate, you are still looking at a space rental ($2500-$6000). But you don’t just need the space, you need it to be set up for you… add in rental companies and staff members to set up/clean up/and manage your event. And that is just dinner…
Average cost of a ceremony (complete with space rental, musicians, professional officiant, flowers, chairs, arch/chuppah) is about $3500.
Average cost of a florist (centerpieces, bridal bouquet, wedding party & family flowers, boutonniere, light ceremony decor) about $2000.
Average cost of a wedding photographer in San Diego ranges anywhere from $3000-$5000.
Videographer average in San Diego is $2000-$4000
Average cost of a DJ/MC: $1400
Full Planner (so you don’t go insane): $3000-5000
Wedding Cake: $500-$1000
Wedding Dress: $1300
And you are looking at a grand total of: your first born child or $30,000+. I wish it weren’t true, but it adds up real quick!
So what can I do to NOT spend than much?
For starters, Throw out the Pinterest expectations! I’m not saying that you can’t have a beautifully styled wedding! But be realistic about what things cost. There are some blog images that cost 1000’s of dollars to create just one table. So be realistic about what you can afford. DIYing crafts will help you, but it still doesn’t mean that your $10,000 budget is going to get you what you see on the front page of Style Me Pretty! Be okay with it looking different than the picture, and put your own spin on everything (it’s YOUR wedding after all, right?)!
Look for discounts. Here in San Diego, we LOVE our Military! So if you are in, or marrying into the armed forces, start throwing that weight around and take advantage of the saved cash! If you aren’t that fortunate, sign up for newsletters, LIKE your vendors pages on social media, and look on their Yelp pages for special offers.
Coupons are awesome, whether you’re getting married or stocking up on dish soap!
Cut the guest list! If your parents start complaining, just tell them that if they want to invite aunt X, Y, and baby Z, then they need to pay for those additional guests. To put it into perspective, about 60% of your budget is based on per person amounts. More people = More money, it’s as simple as that!
For more tips and tricks to save you money on your wedding, just keep reading! I do my best to help stretch your budget as far as it can go… I love saving money!
Let’s talk guest list! Warning: This is likely going to be one of the toughest tasks of your wedding planning journey. But it is essential to the process and thereby, unavoidable! However, it doesn’t have to be super hard!
Eliminate ALL distractions! Designate a night, alone, with just you and your fiancé. No one else is invited to this meeting! If you hear yourself or your partner start to say something like,”my mom said….” or “my parents want to invite…” SHUT IT DOWN!!! Those people are not in the room this time for a reason! This first go through is strictly about what YOU (the couple) want. Write down your decisions to the following questions:
#1: BIG or small?
#2: Kids or no kids?
#3 Local or far away?
During this (↑) meeting, start writing down everyone that you BOTH know together. Start with CLOSE family members. Build to extended family members/childhood friends. Then discuss friends you know now who know you both, and see you regularly!
Once you have this list (↑) written down, count how many people that is. Does it match your big or small answer? Big is typically categorized as over 100, Small is under 100.
Does it not match? If you have too many names, consider a destination wedding. Want to have a local wedding anyway, choose a venue that only allows a limited number of guests. Still have some room in the guest list? Ask your parents for some names of people they would like to have included. (see how this suggestion only comes after you’ve established who YOU want to be there!)
Remember to consider your budget! You’re buying everyone their dinner and drinks, more people = more money!!!
Keep it all organized! When you’re ready to make your scribble marks official, Use a Guest List Organizer to keep your wedding plans organized. Make sure to include Names of EACH guest, Mailing address, email, phone number, number in party, if the invite has been sent (and what number you put on the back of the RSVP card to keep it organized), how many will attend, meal choices (if applicable), and Food restrictions or allergies.
To Make it easy, you can download this one (↓) that I give to each of my full planning clients! Enjoy!
First of all, that #hashtag has to be the freaking coolest wedding hashtag ever used! Can I get an AMEN?!?!
This chilled out, coastal vibe wedding was on a Sunday. Now, Sunday weddings always have some unique challenges. A lot of them end earlier than planned and it’s hard to get guests to let loose, since the responsible part of their brain stays reserved and drinks less, because Monday is lurking! However, Nat and Mike’s Sunday Funday mindset and attitude was just what the doctor ordered for their closest 100 friends and family members. And with some sick calls the next day (just assuming!) guests were on the dance floor till the very end, and then some (Props to DJ Sage, of Sage Productions- San Diego)!
Check out these Gorgeous photos from the super talented Michelle Lillywhite (Lillywhite Photography- San Diego)
Hotel: La Jolla Shores Hotel
And if you’re wondering where this amazing venue is, it’s just up the cliff from La Jolla Shores. A little UCSD owned venue called The Martin Johnson House. This place has had my heart since I found it a few years back! It’s got to be my Favorite beach side venue with views to DIE FOR!!!
The arch was provided by us (Simply Elegant Weddings). But I can’t take credit for the amazing florals that brought it to life. Petals and Pollen supplied and artfully crafted the beautiful flowers you see in this post, especially the amazing arch arrangement below. Along with the flowers that adorned every table top, sign, and everything in between, this wedding was simply stunning!
This Beautiful Farm Table and most of the Lanterns and Candle votives rentals were provided by CC Vintage Rentals! Cristina is so easy and fun to work with! Plus they have so many fun items to drool over (not literally, that would be gross!)
Catering and Placesettings were provided by The French Gourmet. They took care of almost everything! It was so nice to be able to focus on coordinating, and not have to also be thinking of folding napkins, setting the tables, and bussing too! Hooray for full caterers, I love you with all my heart!
Congratulations Nat and Mike! We were so thrilled to be part of your special day, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for such a sweet and special couple like yourselves!
Different Types of Open Bar:
Beer and Wine- Only serving beer and wine is a great way to cut some costs off your pricey alcohol bill. Not only is it budget friendly, it’s also keeps your party goers happy yet still classy. I’ve hardly ever seen a wedding guest get embarrassingly wasted from a open bar serving only beer and wine. So keep your costs down, and your guests tame with this popular option! “Stay Classy San Diego”
Beer/Wine and Signature Cocktails- Enjoying perks of the above option, but still want to have those cute signature cocktail names like “The Blushing Bride” or the “Mint to be Mojito”? Go ahead and have them! A great idea is to serve these signature drinks during cocktail hour only. Another hint, if you don’t want the bottles of ingredients used in shot form- design cocktails that can be premixed in a batch. This ensures the hard alcohol will only be used in it’s designated diluted form.
Full Bar- If you want your guests to have one heck of a crazy night, splurge on the full bar. Because the word OPEN translates to Indulge in bar language, be prepared with plenty of each type of alcohol your guests might request, and have the kind of night no one will remember. Just make sure to have your photographer there late in the evening, so the black mail photos are well documented. And a transportation service for guests to have a safe ride back to their hotel!
General rule is plan for each guest to consume one drink per each hour of the event. (100 guests x 5 hour event = 500 drinks to be served). This evaluation will fluctuate depending on your crowd. Some drink less than others. Some drink more. You know the kind of people you’ve invited, so use your best judgement.
If your wedding is on Sunday-Thursday, and most of your guests are local, the evaluation above will stay the same, however it will be less alcoholic beverages and more soft drinks and water.
If your wedding is in the peak summer months, make sure there is enough water for everyone to have 3-4 servings, in addition to the alcohol they consume according to the above evaluation.
For more information, read this previous article regarding how much alcohol to purchase for your wedding→ http://simplyelegantweddingplanning.com/calculating-alcoholic-beverages-for-your-wedding/
If you are having a buffet, you don’t need assigned seats! You can totally get away with open seating (if that’s your style)!
If you are having a plated meal, you MUST assign guests to a seat. There should be either an seating chart or a table of ESCORT CARDS near the entrance of the reception. This is in addition to the PLACE CARDS at the guests seat, telling them which seat at the table is their’s. The catering staff will need to have the seating chart sent to them in advance, with notes on which guest will be served which meal and any food allergies.
On the PLACE CARD, there should be some symbol that illustrates which meal the guest has selected. In case the cards get mixed up in placement (or let’s be honest, a guest moves themselves to a different seat), the guest will still be served the correct meal.
A Place Card is the one that is at the place setting. An Escort Card is the one they pick up at the entry, telling them which table to find.
Escort Cards or Seating Charts should be arranged by ALPHABET, NOT TABLE NUMBER. None of your guests know what table number they will be sitting at until they find their name! It will create a huge line and back up the entire reception.
If you have a large guest list, your seating chart or escort card display should be accessible during the cocktail hour (after the ceremony). This will give your guests something to do during that time, other than drink. It will also help the transition to their dinner tables run smoothly and quickly.
There is a big difference between someone who takes good photos and a wedding photographer. There is limited time to get all the photos of your family, wedding party, and most importantly you and your new spouse. A professional knows how to organize all your guests to get the photos they need, in the small window of time allotted for photos.
Prepare a Must Have Photo List for your photographer. This should include a list of photos, descriptions and names of the people that should be in image. ie: Photo of Bride and Groom with Both Grandparents (Bride, Groom, Grandma Gladis, Grandpa Jim, Grandma Catherine, and Grandpa Gary.
Don’t forget to be a little flexible on your wedding day! There may not be enough time to walk to that spot you’ve been thinking of taking photos at, or it might not be the best lighting. Let go and trust your photographer. If you chose the photographer based on the amazing photos you know they can produce, then relax and let them take the reigns. You need to relax in order to look good in those photos anyway!
If your photographer has never been to your venue before, set up a site tour for them. You can walk the venue space together and discuss the best plan of action ahead of time, so there’s no guess work on the wedding day!
Remember to tell your photographer where you will be getting ready/getting into your dress. If it is not at your venue, they will need to build travel time into the time they are allotting for all the photos they have to take!
Meet with your photographer IN PERSON before you sign on the dotted line. This vendor is going to be with you more on your wedding day than anyone else. If you don’t like their personality at a meeting, you’re definitely not going to like them or feel comfortable with them on your wedding day when tensions are high! If they bug you or make you feel even the slightest bit of discomfort, don’t book them for your wedding!!!
Begin looking at invitation options about 6 months before the wedding day
Order proofs of your invitations to make sure they look and feel the way you envision them. Proofs are normally free. But make sure to allow for time for the company to print and ship the proofs to you, then time to make any adjustments needed, and still be able to place the big order on time!
Place the FINAL order for your invites 4 months before your wedding date. (If you are ordering them from a custom stationer, order them 5 months before the wedding).
Once you have the invitations in hand, set up a night with your family or your bridesmaids, to put together the invitation suite, stuff the envelopes, stamp, and address! Put the person with the best hand writing in charge of addressing, or print the addresses directly onto the envelopes with your inkjet printer.
Hand deliver the invitations to the post office. You can never be too careful! While you’re there, have them weigh one of the invites to make sure you don’t need any additional postage on the envelopes.
Invitations should be sent out no later than 8 weeks prior to the wedding! Allow more time if you opted not to send Save The Dates.
RSVP’s should be due 1 month before the wedding!!! This will give you 2 weeks to follow up with everyone that “forgot” to send back their RSVP. Your final guest count should be sent to your caterer and other vendors no later than 2 weeks before the event.